Consumers are looking to spend, but retailers have fewer opportunities to interact with them, according to a new study by Nielsen. Consumers are planning, demanding and above all, connected. Retailers need to capture consumers where they are because they’re going to be seeing them less often than they have before.

So what’s driving this change? In short, lifestyle and technology.

Consumers are looking for balance in their lives and concern for work-life balance is paramount; more than 80 percent of global consumers cite spending quality time with friends and family is their top value. Another key consideration is rapidly advancing technology—quickly evolving devices that put consumers in very close contact with an ever-expanding realm of shopping opportunity. Today, 49 percent of online respondents make purchases online—a figure that’s only going to increase as mobile technology continues to proliferate. In 2012, for example, there were more than 1 billion smart phones around the world, a trend worth watching with respect to mobile purchasing.

The key to success is identifying and maximizing the opportunities where they exist. Just as consumers are more connected, retailers will need to follow suit, engaging with consumers wherever they are and at each stage of the promotion of a product or service: the before, during and after have never been more important.

Today, it’s all about bringing the store to the consumer through various methods pre, during and post purchase cycle. Advertising, blogs, social media and word-of-mouth are critical tools in the ramp up to selling a product or service, while in-store displays, coupons, sampling and shelf talkers are great ways to continue momentum once a product or service is out in the market. But it doesn’t end there. Social media, customer relationship management, text message programs and on-pack coupons are important ways to continue engaging with consumers after they’ve left the store.